The Delusions of an Ukrainian Nationalist (II)

The Delusions of an Ukrainian Nationalist (II)

See Part I

In my exchange with the fictional Mykola Duratskii, the Ukrainian «nationalist», he laid out the basic Ukrainian line justifying the so-called Maidan revolution. 

Of course, he didn’t mention US and EU subversion of the legitimate Ukrainian government.  And he left out of his narrative, the critical role played by violent hooligans in street demonstrations in Kiev, encouraged by various American notables, including deputy Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland.

Who were the hooligans, I wondered, being cosseted by Nuland? «Democrats», replied Duratskii, not mentioning that US and EU authorities were paying them to go into the streets. In fact, according to Duratskii, the United States, innocent as a lamb, had nothing to do with Maidan. «Anyway, does it matter?» Duratskii rejoined, «Yanukovich was corrupt». Well yes, it seems he was, but not more so, and possibly less than his successor Petro Poroshenko, the chocolate mogul, and various other Ukrainian oligarchs.

I still wonder about the hooligans by the way. They seem to come from Ukrainian paramilitary and political organisations, like Pravyi Sektor and the political party Svoboda. «Neo-Nazi», some people say. «They’re nationalist, not fascist», Duratskii insisted: «Ukrainians are not fascist».

Some were, I thought to myself: they were Nazi collaborators who fought against the Red Army and lent a hand to the Nazi genocide in the USSR. Now there’s a new lot propping up the putschist junta in Kiev. They’re hard to miss with their frequent torchlight parades, Nazi flags and symbols, and their large portraits of World War II Nazi collaborator Stephan Bandera.

«Wasn’t he a fascist?» I asked. Duratskii avoided a reply. That’s the US and EU reaction too: avoid a reply or call them «a few bad apples» who sometimes get carried away.

In fact, fascist hooligans were responsible for the Odessa massacre on 2 May 2014. They were also responsible for indiscriminate killings in the east, in Mariupol, Donetsk, and other places where people demonstrated against the Kiev junta or were trying to vote in a referendum for separation from the Ukraine. It began to look like Nazi World War II reprisals all over again. A pity that I could not show Duratskii the ubiquitous photographs, spread by Twitter, of the mangled bodies of people killed by Ukrainian artillery barrages in the Donbass. Some of the photographs became iconic: a woman staring blankly at a camera shortly before her death, legs blown off, or another of a young mother still holding a baby in her arm both killed by the splinters of a bursting artillery shell. Have a look at the photographs and imagine how people in the Donbass feel—or in Russia for that matter—when they see these images, so redolent of the atrocities of the Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators during World War II.

Oddly enough, Duratskii never said a word about fascist violence in his narrative of the «Maidan revolution», though he was indignant about the Crimean referendum in favour of reunification with Russia. «The yes vote was so high it must have been rigged», he claimed, «and world opinion is against it».

«Ha, ha! World opinion», I thought, laughing to myself, «that means US and EU opinion, but that’s not the world». Left unsaid too was that the Kiev coup d’état triggered the anti-fascist resistance in the Crimea and elsewhere in Novorossiya.

«And it’s a violation of the Budapest Memorandum», Duratskii hastened to add. This agreement, concluded in 1994, saw to the removal of nuclear arms from the Ukraine and guaranteed Ukrainian sovereignty.  Of course, it was the United States and EU which first violated the Budapest Memorandum by backing two «colour revolutions» in Kiev.  «The usual western double standards», I could have rejoined: «Do as we say, not as we do».   Anyway, you can’t force people to submit to the authority of the Kiev junta, if they are determined and strong enough to resist. 

Then there was the shooting down of the Malaysian jet liner, MH17, in the summer of 2014, an ideal pretext for the United States and EU to ratchet up sanctions against Russia. Duratskii claimed that the Dutch investigating committee found the Russians and the eastern «separatists» to be the guilty parties. In fact, the investigating committee, of which the Ukraine was a member and had veto powers, did not make a definite finding of responsibility. Various alternative media have shot the committee report full of holes; it is unravelling even in Holland. The Ukrainian and US governments have withheld key evidence from the investigation, satellite data and control tower recordings, for example. If there is nothing to hide, why hide evidence? It’s seems pretty obvious that Kiev forces shot down MH17, the big question remains why.

Duratskii insists that the Ukraine is fighting for its independence against the Russian army and Russian separatists. It is a well-known fact however that the Kiev junta is selling off its resources and assets to obtain IMF and EU loans.

The finance minister is an American; another minister is a Lithuanian. The governor of the Odessa region is the notorious ex-president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, presently a fugitive, charged with various offences by the Georgian government. And everyone knows that Poroshenko takes his orders from the US ambassador in Kiev, Geoffrey Pyatt, or from Washington. So what is left of  Ukrainian independence? The Ukrainian economy is in ruins, and as I write these lines, the rat-faced Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned as prime minister. As for the Russian army, if it were operating in the Ukraine, it would make short work of Kiev’s marauding armed forces. Of course, Duratskii did not mention the various US, Canadian, and Polish military units or foreign mercenaries operating in the Ukraine as «advisors» or in the latter case, as combatants. Ukrainian «nationalists» have a bad habit of currying favour with foreign powers. In 1918 and 1919 it was with Wilhelmine Germany and France. During World War II, it was with Nazi Germany. Now it’s the United States and EU. Poroshenko and his fascist associates descend from a long line of «nationalist» collaborators.

Inevitably, the Minsk accords came up in the discussion, and yes, as you might have guessed, Duratskii claimed that it’s Russia’s fault if the agreement is not working. «Eh what?» I replied, «Russia is not a signatory to the agreements». In fact, the Kiev junta has failed to respect the accords for even a single day. Kiev forces regularly bombard the Donetsk and Lugansk republics even though Russian authorities have attempted to restrain retaliation by the anti-fascist opolchentsy. One has to say that Minsk has not been one of Russia’s greatest diplomatic manoeuvres. Selling out your allies to buy off your enemies, rarely works for long.

Duratskii sees the war in the Ukraine as one between the «nationalist» government in Kiev and pro-Russian «separatists» in the east. I preferred not to argue with my interlocutor, but actually the real war is between the illegitimate fascist junta in Kiev and the anti-fascist opolchentsy in the east. Let’s call a spade a spade. The USSR spent four terrible years fighting Nazi Germany and played the predominant role in destroying it. Each year on May 9 the Russian Federation remembers the Red Army’s victory. Is the legacy of that victory now in danger? Fascists are back in power in the Ukraine. They celebrate past collaboration with Nazi Germany, they display its symbols and mimic its public demonstrations.

Fashizm – eto voina, was the Soviet watchword and true too. Fascism means war. Of course, I did not say this to my fictional interlocutor Duratskii. «Good luck to you», I said politely, as he departed. There was something quite banal about his defence of the rebirth of fascism in the Ukraine.

And what about Moscow? Can it afford to let fascists maintain power in Kiev; can it let the Ukraine become a constant threat to Russian security? How long can Moscow play a waiting game to propitiate the United States and the European Union? Will the junta self-destruct? Will the United States let it collapse? If Mister Duratskii is any example, Russia must know what kind of people it is up against in the Ukraine… who create false narratives to justify hatred of Russia. Will the time ever come to call things by their proper name?

Tags: Ukraine